19 October 2020
BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry:
“BHP has started the new financial year with a strong first quarter of safety and production performance. Group production rose two per cent from a year ago driven by solid results in metallurgical coal and iron ore, our major growth projects made good progress, and we secured more options in copper, nickel and oil.
While our copper operations in South America continue to be impacted by COVID-19 preventative measures, we achieved strong concentrator throughput at Escondida and expect first production from the Spence Growth Option before the end of March 2021. In Australia, Olympic Dam delivered its best quarterly production in the past five years and we are on track for first production from South Flank in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.
In petroleum, we have entered an agreement to increase our interest in the tier one Shenzi asset while delivering first production from Atlantis Phase 3 ahead of schedule and within budget. In copper, we secured an option agreement in the Northern Territory in Australia and saw further promising exploration results from Oak Dam. We bolstered our nickel options with an exploration alliance in Canada and completion of the Honeymoon Well acquisition."